What is the Function of Trichomes in Cannabis? 

Whether you are new to the CBD scene or an avid user, understanding the function of trichomes in cannabis is essential to learning the many believed benefits of the cannabis plant. Keep reading to find out why!

What are Trichomes?

If you’ve spent any time researching CBD you probably know that the cannabis plant is multi-faceted and each part of the plant plays an important role in its healing power. Most people are aware of the proposed benefits of the leaves and the buds of the cannabis plant, however, not many know the significance of trichomes.  


trichomes up close


By definition, a trichome is, “fine outgrowths or appendages on plants, algae, lichens, and certain protists. These growths look sort of like mushrooms, and to the untrained eye, may look like something out of a sci-fi movie. However, trichomes have an important job of producing hundreds of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that help to make your favorite cannabis strain effective, unique, and potent. Both cannabis and hemp plants naturally develop trichomes, making the plants a higher source of phytochemicals as well as cannabinoids. 


What Role Do Trichomes Play in Cannabis?

Trichomes are important for numerous reasons. As mentioned above, trichomes are essential for producing cannabinoids and terpenes. In addition, trichomes play a vital role in the survival of the cannabis plant. The sticky surface of the growth provides a natural defense against cannabis killing elements such as fungus, insects, and herbivorous predators. It is believed that they are deterred by the flavor and texture of the trichomes because of its gooey outer-barrier. Additionally, trichomes are believed to reduce the heating effect of sunlight that harms the growth of the buds. All in all, trichomes help the cannabis and hemp plant to grow and thrive in its environment until it is ready to be extracted and consumed. 

If you have already found your love for CBD and implemented CBD into your daily wellness routine, you can thank trichomes. Through the process of biosynthesis, the first cannabinoid to form within trichomes is cannabigerol acid (CBGA), which is the precursor to all other cannabinoids. 


Stages of Trichome Development

As the cannabis plant moves into it’s blooming stage, cannabinoid synthesis within trichomes begins. Trichomes form along the outer surface, and their growth rate and concentration depend on factors such as genetics and environment.  Often, the plants that produce the highest concentration of trichomes produce a higher concentration of cannabinoids or terpenes, however, this is not always the case. 

A trichome's life cycle depends heavily on the cannabis plant in which it grows. Trichomes represent their readiness (or ripeness) by its color. Farmers use their change in color as a sign that they are ready and fully matured, even though this may be dependent on the specific cannabis strain that it has grown. Trichomes are affected by physical contact, heat, light, oxygen, and time so it is important for farmers to pay special attention to them in their growing stage. 


water droplet on trichomes


How Do Trichomes Affect You?

Many avid CBD users don’t put many thoughts into parts of the cannabis plant such as trichomes. However, they deserve praise for their keen ability to protect the cannabis plant during it’s growing stage and a laundry list of proposed medicinal and therapeutic benefits. As we went over, trichomes are essential to contributing cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids to your favorite CBD products. 

 So, next time you reach for your favorite A88CBD™ product, give a quick, ‘thank you,’ to trichomes that have made your CBD product that much better! 


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